Prescription Problems — Bane of my Exhistance!

Dad’s Assisted Living Facility (ALF) failed to renew dad’s blood pressure prescription and the medications ran out last week.  Now he has been without these medications for over a week.  Apparently, when they called the doctor’s office to renew the prescription, the doctor called it in to a local pharmacy rather than the 90-day supply directly from Medico as his insurance requires.  The local pharmacy is one that works with this ALF and would have been fine for a 30-day supply.  However, it came as a 30 day blister pack and was labeled with a different name than was ordered.  The ALF, not knowing that the generic has 4 different brand names, sent it back to the pharmacy which then destroyed the pills.

I received a bill from the local pharmacy and took it to the ALF on Tuesday to ask why it had been ordered in a 30 day supply.  I was told they returned it and would be getting his regular 90-day supply.  I asked what he is taking in the meantime and they said “nothing”.

Before dad came to this ALF he had been taking 2 different medications to control his blood pressure.  His physician told me that I shouldn’t let the new doctor change his medications because it had taken years to get it balanced to control his high blood pressure and not cause him excess dizziness.

However, when he was in the hospital and then the nursing home, his medications were changed and he was taken off one of the blood pressure medications.  I didn’t realize that until the recent debacle with Medco over the renewal of a medication dad wasn’t taking.  See “Medco Again!…” .

Anyway, I thought he was doing OK on just one medication though I didn’t ask what his blood pressure was.  He just “seemed” fine.  Now that I know he has been off all blood pressure medications for a week, I am concerned.  I asked the nurse at the ALF if they were at least taking his blood pressure while he wasn’t on any medication and she said no.  They only take the blood pressure on orders from the doctor and since the doctor didn’t order it, they couldn’t do it.  I asked her to please call the doctor and get an order to track his blood pressure.  Honestly, aren’t some things just obvious?  I try not to micromanage, but sometimes I can’t help myself!

In the meantime, I know the physician’s office called the local pharmacy yesterday to reorder a 30-day supply and they also called Medco for a 90-day supply.  I know this because I got an automated phone call from Medco asking if I was my father.  I have learned I have to say “yes” I am my father, or else the robot will hang up.  The robo-call told me that a prescription had been called in and would arrive in a week or two.  Then, hopefully, things will be back to “normal”

Except for one thing.  Medco paid part of the cost of the 30-day supply that was destroyed.  Will they pay again less than a week later?  If not, who pays the extra cost?  Will the pharmacy eat it because they labeled it different than the ALF expected?  Will the ALF accept the extra cost because they sent the medications back?  Or will dad, who had nothing to do with this mess, have to pick up the extra cost?

I know I should just wait and see.  But yesterday I was told over the phone that the medications would be there last night.  And today they had not come yet and told me they would come in tonight.   So now I feel like I have to ask every day until the medications arrive and dad is back on his usual schedule of medications.  And I was really trying so hard not to be a nag!

Now, I will update you on the last Medco problem.  No, I never received a check or credit on dad’s credit card for the prescription they sent which we had not ordered.  I finally called them up last week and learned that yes, he did have a “credit on his account”.  But no, they had not credited his credit card.  The credit would stay on his account for at least 45 days.  Then if he didn’t have a new order, they would send a check.  So now, a new order has been called in.  The new medication is cheaper than the old one, I believe.  But, will they send a check for the rest?  or just hold onto it?  Should I call about it or let it ride since he will be getting more refills later anyway?  I see it as an interest free loan from dad to Medco and it bothers me.  But, I am out of energy on this issue and hope not to have to call about it any more!

About letstalkaboutfamily

I am a retired and was the primary caregiver for both my parents before they passed. I have children and grandchildren. This blog is an attempt to connect with other caregivers and share ideas and experiences. I hope you will let me know what worked for you if you had an experience similar to mine. The main issues I am going to talk about are elder care, death and dying, assisted living, family relationships and hoarders and hoarding. Other topics will come up as I address the issues and my relationship with other family members.
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9 Responses to Prescription Problems — Bane of my Exhistance!

  1. I enjoy your post. Dad is lucky to have you.

  2. Thank you. I feel lucky to still have dad too, and I want to keep it that way as long as I can.

  3. Seemingly simple things like medication re-orders, and blood pressure monitoring, would appear to be no braider’s. Unfortunately, they are often the issues that eat into our precious time and drain us of energy. I hope you were able to re-charge once you let it go. much love.

  4. that’s the hardest part–dealing with doctors and meds.

  5. Pingback: Medication Management Mixup — Again! (MEDCO/Express Scripts and Dad’s ALF Both Messed Up) | Let's Talk About Family

  6. Hi,

    I apologize for any inconvenience and we hope to be able to help with this issue. Medco is now part of Express Scripts. If you can send me an e-mail to we will look into the issue right away. Thanks for the opportunity to help.


    • Riddi, I thank you for your response here on my blog. Because this is an anonymous blog to protect my father’s pivacy and my siblings who are mentioned here, I will not respond to you directly. However, I will keep your email in my address book so I can contact you in the future if I need to. I feel that Medco/Express-Scripts did respond quickly to my telephone call this week and was satisfied that they were willing to immediately supply a free 7-day supply of dad’s medications. This time dad only missed his medications one day, though it was worse last year. I think the Assisted Living Facility did not react quickly enough to the apparent errors and should have notified me as soon as dad was down to a few days worth of medications. For that, I hold them directly responsible. Medco/Express Scripts was notified weeks in advance that dad needed his medications renewed. I don’t know the circumstances but apparently they realized there was a problem when they called me twice in one day to leave me a message. Unfortunately I was not at home all day and I didn’t get those messages until after the ALF administrators had gone home.

      Both this year and last year the error occurred when the prescription had expired and the doctor’s office phoned in a renewal for another year. Both times there was a breakdown and the medications were not sent until many calls were made. I hope to stay more on top of this issue when it comes up again. The regular renewal of a 3 months supply always seems to go smoothly, but the need for a doctor’s phone call or fax seems to cause an interruption of the medications. Again, I appreciate your response here, but since dad now has his medications, and I expect they will be renewed every 3 months, I will probably not need to contact you until next May (or actually June since the ALF did purchase a 30 day supply).

      PS. I know Medco is now Express-Scripts, but the phone messages usually are left in the name of Medco and some of the mail still comes with the Medco name.

      I just realized this comment was left on my post from 2012. My post this week about dad’s medications is for May 2013. In 2012 dad did go almost a week without medications but in 2013 he only missed one day’s worth. After having numerous problems with Medco a year ago, things have been working fairly well since I have been recognized as dad’s personal representative and I have computer access to his account. There does still seem to be a problem in the communications between dad’s Assisted Living Facility and Medco/Express Scripts and that is why I want them to notify me when he needs renewals.

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